Following its initial Mac release in July,
v1.9 is now available for download from the official Web site.
This game provides users with a look at what it’s like to train and fight as a U.S. Army soldier, applying specialties you learn in battlefield conditions. You go through a series of training exercises then cut your teeth in live online combat with other soldiers on a virtual battlefield.
America’s Army is not just a game — it’s also a recruitment tool created specifically by and for the U.S. Army. The game uses Unreal Tournament 2003’s core engine technology to provide users with 3D graphics and multiplayer action, and was brought to the Mac by the same programmer who worked on MacSoft’s Mac OS X conversion of Unreal Tournament 2003 — Ryan Gordon.
Version 1.7 was the first Mac release. America’s Army was
announced for the Mac
earlier this year at E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles, Calif. and
the same week that Macworld CreativePro Conference & Expo took place in New York this past July. At the time of its announcement, the developers made it clear that America’s Army v1.9 would get the Mac treatment as well. The Mac version follows the Windows version’s release by a couple of weeks.
The version number may be a relatively minor increment but the release itself certainly isn’t. America’s Army v1.9 introduces a wealth of changes to the game, including a new class of soldier — the Combat Medic, whose job it is to tend to the wounded.
Four new training maps have been added, along with a new multiplayer map; the game sports a new interface; more highly detailed textures and character shadows can be applied; lip synching is now supported; new team selection and scoreboard pages have been created; PunkBuster anti-cheating software is now supported, and there’s more too.
Because the Combat Medic is now part of the game, new damaging modeling has been incorporated, as well. The game simulates blood loss and the corresponding loss of combat effectiveness if you get hit by a bullet; a Combat Medic can treat your wound, stop the bleeding and return some of your effectiveness too.
America’s Army requires a G4/700MHz or faster; 256MB RAM; 1GB hard disk space; ATI Radeon 97500 or Nvidia GeForce2 MX or better video system. The game is free, but it measures more than 500MB in size. It’s available for download at the America’s Army Web site via a premium Akamai-based connection that requires you to pay US$5.96. If this release follows the same pattern as its predecessor, mirror sites offering free downloads of the game should appear.